We always have more to do than time to do it. Time management is probably the most significant component of the $19 billion self-help market.
It’s also usually a core component for real estate investors’ training and coaching. You will see substantial performance gains when you get more of the right things done daily.
This article aims to give you the best resources and share my top takeaways from numerous books, years of courses and seminars, and real-world practice of the techniques I’ve learned as a long-time real estate investor.
Why Time Management?
We all start every day with a minimal number of hours. During those hours, we have many choices of what we can do with our time. Pareto’s Principle (aka “The 80/20 Rule”) would suggest that 20% of the possible activities will produce 80% of your results. I think the numbers might be even more extreme.
Regardless, real estate investors’ time management goal is to do MORE of the 20% activities and LESS of the time-wasters.
Fighting the Time Vampires
The other challenge we face, to use Dan Kennedy’s terminology, is the Time Vampires. These people are constantly trying to suck your time like a vampire sucks blood from its victim. We need to have hyper-vigilant senses and be constantly aware of and avoid these people.
Why is it SO Important to Real Estate Investors Specifically?
As entrepreneurs, it’s almost as if we have a magnetic field attracting time wasters. Nobody is micromanaging us; we are free to waste time to epic proportions if we choose.
That makes it all that more vital that we manage our time effectively to get all the revenue-generating tasks done. Instead, one of two things often happens to us:
1. We don’t generate as much revenue as we could, or, worse, as much as we need to.
2. We end the workday (you have one, right?) with a feeling of incompleteness.
Poor revenue generation doesn’t require much explanation, but the second challenge might…
A Feeling of Incompleteness
This is a nasty problem faced by real estate investors who don’t manage their time correctly. It manifests itself like this… it’s 5 PM, the end of the workday for most of the employed world.
They are commuting home, and most have already forgotten about the office and started thinking about the family, the television, a cold beer, or whatever they look forward to at the end of the day.
On the other hand, you have this awful feeling as the day has flown by, and you didn’t get anything meaningful done.
There are two options at this point… keep working into the night or call it a day, though you’ll be stuck thinking about work/feeling like a failure/feeling overwhelmed/etc. Tell yourself you’ll do better tomorrow… but you won’t.
This is the dirty underbelly for real estate investors… not getting a regular workday/workweek, taking stress home with you, and feeling like you’re never able to keep up with everything that needs to be done.
Can you relate? If so, you have a time management problem… read on.
Can’t I Hire an Assistant?
You may think that the problem is that there isn’t enough of you to go around, and the answer is hiring some help.
How will you manage theirs if you can’t manage your time? Instead, get your time management under control; if you still need help, you’ll be firing on all cylinders and reaching a maximum return on the investment.
Time Management Education
So, if we agree that you need to manage your time better, it’s wise to start learning specific strategies and implementing them in your real estate investing business.
I’ve invested in many resources trying to tame time management, from inexpensive books to uber-expensive seminars. What I’ve found? Most of the concepts taught in the expensive workshops come from cheap books. There… cat out of the bag.
So, here are four resources (plus a bonus) that will cover what the high-priced programs (for real estate investors and the personal growth crowd) cover for next to nothing. If you want even more distilled details for real estate investors, look for my other article, Real Estate Investors – Top 3 Strategies For Time Management.
Find all these books at your library or Amazon.com for about $10-15 each. They’re in the order I’d read them.
1. No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy – This is an excellent book for less than $10… essential reading. Best takeaways… avoid the time vampires and block your time (assign a chunk and then shut everything else off).
2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen – The handbook of “GTDers” (people who use the methodologies outlined in this book. My systems incorporate GTD methods. Best takeaways… the procedure for organizing paperwork into actionable reference and the idea of separating the immediate from the someday/maybe.
3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss – This was the “it” book for a while, while we all dreamed of working fewer hours. Please read it for some tremendous actionable strategies, especially for limiting wasted time on email and outsourcing. The best takeaway… taming your email.
4. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy – I summed this book up in #2 in Real Estate Investors – Top 3 Strategies For Time Management. This is the much longer version. The best takeaway… focusing on the frogs (doing the important stuff before the easy/fun stuff).
The 5th resource would be any Franklin Covey time management books/classes/resources. I started with these, and they worked pretty well for a while, but I will say that I’m no longer crazy about the level of detail and size of task lists. I also found all the talk of rocks and saws a little obtuse.
More Tips for Optimizing Time Management in Your Real Estate Investing Business